Saturday, August 29, 2015

First Time For Anika

Today was a day that I've been looking forward to like, forever. Today I get to go camping with my five year old granddaughter Anika. I think I've been looking forward to this ever since she was born. Just the two of us, off in the woods – exploring, discovering and just plain hanging out. Joy.

Of course, since she is five, Anika's social calendar is already full. So, first I went and attended her soccer match. It is fun to watch because for most of the kids at Anika's age, there is no strategy involved. It is everybody chase the ball, regardless of what position you have been assigned. Think of it as the ball is a mother duck and all the little ducklings follow the mom no matter where she goes. Very cute.

After soccer, we went to our campground (Lebanon Hills Regional Park - very close to St. Paul) where I had already set the RV up. We were going to make s'mores. Of course I had bought a whole bag of marshmallows and six Hershey bars for the two of us because it is better to have enough chocolate and sugar than to be left wanting. Besides that, I'm Grandma, sugar consumption is not a grandparent's worry.

As we are sitting around the little itsy bitsy fire, roasting marshmallows, I notice over by the visitor center that there are several police squad cars. One of the officers drove by our campsite and stopped, wanting to know if we had just started our campfire. Evidently somebody had reported that they smelled smoke and thought something was on fire. People, we are in a campground – a campground where people make campfires. Go figure. We offered the officer a s'more which he declined but I could see the want in his eyes.
After walking Miko for at least fifty miles, we settled into watching a couple of “princess” movies and bed.

The next morning, it was raining and my little princess, attired in her ladybug raincoat, shorts and cowboy boots, walked Miko for another fifty miles. I readied the RV for travel and then I think the best part of the whole camping experience for Anika happened. Her car seat was in the front passenger seat and she was beside herself with excitement. “Grandma, I've never ever ridden in the front seat before” So she got to do her very first front seat ride and it was done looking out the huge front window of the RV. Priceless.

We finished up the day by going horseback riding. We did a trail ride with me leading Anika on Spryna, me on Andri. Then when we got back to the barn, Anika took over riding Andri and for the first time, started steering by herself. Can we say how proud I am of Anika. Lots of firsts.

Can't wait for next time.

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